TOKYO, Japan — Justin Gatlin used a late surge in the closing meters to overtake Shuhei Tada of Japan and win the men’s 100 meters in 10.24 seconds at the Ready Steady Tokyo meeting, which is part of the 2021 World Athletics Continental Tour Gold series, on Sunday (9).
Ready Steady Tokyo Time Not Fast, But Ok – Gatlin
Gatlin, the 2017 world champion, had to overcome a cramp in his calf in the heats to secure a place in the final, and although he was clearly not happy with the winning time, the American confident he will improve.
“I felt good. I had a cramp in my calf in the prelims, but I took some time and rest it (because) I knew technique could help me out,” Gatlin said in his post-race interview.
“I haven’t run my best in Japan, so I am working on that right now so by the time I get to Japan for Tokyo (as he crossed his fingers in hope to make the U.S. Olympic team) – I will run my best I’ve ever run.”
Gatlin, who finished behind Tada in the heats, was able to catch the fast starting Japanese sprinter late in the race and nipped him on the line.
Tada, who glanced over at the American as he went past him, finished second in 10.26s, with Yuki Koike taking third place with 10.28s.
Meanwhile, Yoshihide Kiryu, who owns a personal best of 9.98s and was seen as one of the leading Japanese sprinters to challenge for the title here on Sunday, failed to progress from the heats after he was disqualified for a false start.
Fast 400m Hurdles Race
In the meantime, Kazuki Kurokawa led the charges for Japanese athletes in the men’s 400m hurdles, as the top three finishers posted the qualifying standard for the Olympic Games.
Kurokawa clocked a personal best of 48.68 seconds to take the victory, defeating Hiromu Yamauchi and Masaki Toyoda who ran 48.84 and 48.87 for respective personal bests as well in second and third.
Kurokawa’s winning time on Sunday is the second fastest in the world this season.
The Ready Steady Tokyo meeting is the official test event for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games, which will take place later this summer.